My kid sister is in high school, her junior year. She's a pretty smart kid--runs in the family, clearly ;). She reads books for leisure and can usually understand by context unfamiliar words. She's a whiz with math. She can place most countries at least in their correct vicinity. She knows who some of the major candidates are in our upcoming elections, and she knows who Benazir Bhutto was. In short, she is not an illiterate ignoramus.
In her Social Civics course, she was reading about the executive branch of government and the President's Cabinet today (winter break can be significantly shorter for home-schooled kids). The book gave a brief overview of some of the different departments, noting that the Department of Homeland Security was implemented after the Sept. 11 attacks.
"There was no Department of Homeland Security before 9/11?" she asked, surprised.
And in other news, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia.